“Sustainable” Agriculture: often debated, rarely understood

Published on by in Academic

Sustainable" in the agricultural context is a term that is often debated but rarely understood. Frequently, the debates are framed as a choice between "organic" and "conventional" agriculture. Proponents of both sides argue passionately for their position - each claiming superiority. If we understand sustainable as "less harmful" then there is room for debate - it is difficult to determine which set of methods are least harmful when you consider all the various dimensions of agriculture that can be unsustainable. However, if you use the true definition of "sustainable" - the ability to be sustained indefinitely, we can reach a clear conclusion based on solid research. Neither organic nor conventional agriculture is truly sustainable.